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Naming rights effort on hold pending legal review

Monday, Jun 19, 2017

* June 5th

A nonprofit designed to help with upkeep at the Illinois state fairgrounds plans on selling naming rights to fair buildings to help pay for improvements.

The Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation is in negotiations with corporations for naming rights to various buildings, Chairman John Slayton told The (Springfield) State Journal-Register (http://bit.ly/2sw4P7K ). The foundation hopes to raise $3 million to $5 million a year to pay for improvements, he said.

“It will start to pick up soon,” Slayton said. “The naming rights are going to be our biggest dollars.”

* June 12th

Almost all of the 170-plus buildings on the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield and the more than 20 on the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds have structural damage that will cost an estimated $180 million to repair.

To fund some of the repairs, the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation is offering naming rights for damaged buildings.

John Slayton, chairman of the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation, said many of the buildings need new roofs and shingles, and there are plumbing and electrical issues as well.

Slayton said the foundation has started talking to corporations about naming rights or sponsorships that will allow them to place their name on certain fairground buildings.

* June 17th

State fair naming rights in Iowa and Oklahoma have often been cited as potential models for the Illinois State Fair, though the question remains whether a private foundation for fairs in Springfield and Du Quoin has that authority.

Discussions continue with potential sponsors — including for the iconic Coliseum in Springfield that’s been closed by safety concerns since October — while attorneys for the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation explore the legal issue.

“We’re waiting on an opinion out of the governor’s legal office,” said John Slayton, chairman of the foundation board.

The key question is whether approval for naming-rights sales is required from the Illinois General Assembly, according to Slayton. The hope, he said, is to avoid the kind of legislative standoff that prevented approval of a state-sanctioned fair foundation.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

7 Comments
  1. - A guy - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 12:54 pm:

    Eek. After providing all of those great ideas here on CF.


  2. - Thinking - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 1:17 pm:

    How does a not for profit, not created by the legislature, not created by an Executive Order, have the right to sell naming rights to state owned buildings? Can just anyone create a NFP and sell naming rights??

    When the Agriculture administration building was named a few years ago after John Block it was done legislatively. U of I had legislation to name the State Farm Center. Natural Resources has a Conservation Foundation via a statue.

    This is cart before horse. Get the legislation to get it approved and then go forward. This should have bi-partisan support (the only reason failed before was because had exemptions from prevailing wage). Clean it up and get a bill passed.


  3. - Biscuit Head - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 1:51 pm:

    Can AFSCME establish a non-profit and sell off the naming rights to the Governor’s Mansion?


  4. - Shelby - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 2:38 pm:

    Just this weekend I was wondering if we could sell naming rights for the entire state. You know, we could be Apple’s State of Illinios or Wal-Mart’s Land of Lincoln…although I don’t know if that would help or hurt their business…. /s….maybe


  5. - illini - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 3:15 pm:

    Questions of the legality or appropriateness aside - if there is currently $180 million in deferred maintenance, exactly how will $3 - 5 million a year even put a dent into the monies needed?

    And every year that goes by this cost will continue to grow.

    If this were to be done, and I am not necessarily opposed, I hope the naming rights are not conferred until all the monies are are paid to fully bring the buildings up to acceptable levels of repair. And monies provided for future maintenance.


  6. - Mama - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 5:02 pm:

    Naming rights seems like a good idea as there is accountability for the incoming money for the buildings.


  7. - Timmeh - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 7:20 pm:

    3-5m a year sounds really high. Grandstand revenues were only 2.08m for 2016 and that was a record.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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